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Video Recap: Xbox One Launch in Orlando
While the other guys enjoyed hanging out at the two main launch events, I got to crash a local one which included one of the six Killer Instinct Tournaments happening around the country. Before the tournament even started it was a mad house! Here’s the short and sweet video recap for the lazy.
I want to first give mad props to Steve, the store manager, and his entire team at the MS Store as well as the team from Edelman PR for a sweet setup and well organized event. They had 16 stations set up for players to lay it down in Killer Instinct and each station got a ref to keep an eye on it. Tournament goers were lined up and brought in for each round. I’ll admit, I’m so bad at fighting games that watching the different matches all I could think was “both of these guys are either really, really good or really, really bad.” But considering some of the combos and the last few matches for the top 3 spots, I’d say some of them were really good.
Now launches in stores can be a bit difficult sometimes since technically they have rules regarding max occupancy and really, you don’t want a store so crowded that people can’t move around. So they had two setups outside the MS store aside from the tournament signup. One for playing Just Dance 4 which was about as hysterical as it usually is. And another setup including a DJ from the local radio station Power 95.3. So no matter whether you were in or out of the store, there were several ways to enjoy and take part.
It was a ton of fun wandering around and chatting with all the people. It’s what I like most about launch events, for games or systems, because everyone there wants to be and it makes for fun conversations. They’d even set up a separate line for those who had already paid their pre-order and did not want to compete in the tournament. Like this group that was there at 5:30AM. And this girl is totally awesome, as she does CallieCosplay, and I so wish I will one day have the time to cosplay like she does.
I’d been given some Microsoft Store gift cards to give out at my leisure which was very fun. Some were easy like tweeting at me with the right tags, though I admit my favorites were just the random conversations. I tried throwing in some mini-trivia as part of the conversation and realized we are all mad spoiled by Paustinj. His obscure gaming knowledge showed me that questions I thought would be easy were actually quite difficult for the regular gamer.
And the dude I played against in Killer Instinct? He got a gift card just for dealing with my horribly skilled self. Though I have to say it was a pretty equal match of both of us sucking at KI but trying anyways. I got to run into JaxBoxChick and SickNdeHed from The Mommy Gamers, as well as DeejayKnight from GamingTruth, and met the cool guys from the recently started Co_opCouch. The Florida community were there in force.
Watching the final matches brought me back to the days of competing at MLGs. The energy and focus from the spectators as the final 3 battled it out for bragging rights was awesome. And I may have done a bit of yelling and cheering myself. With the tournament winner crowned and briefed on his chance to take a bigger title 2 days later in Jacksonville, it was midnight!!
Before we could get caught in the craze of seeing those Xbox Ones going into people’s hands, first we had to announce our grand giveaway winner! Congrats to Cody “nuketaco” Beltz! He was totally surprised and it was so awesome to be able to hand over that gift card and get him set up to take a Xbox One home. Even better, he was wearing a Halo related shirt – brownie points from me. I absolutely love doing giveaways.
I was once again reminded of some of the less organized midnight launches I’d been to when I saw how awesomely planned this one was. The MS Store crew cleared out the entire store. They’d split the already paid consoles into lines based on red and blue and each had a number. Then they were let in a few at a time to walk up, show the tag and receipt, got their bag with everything already in it (so if there was more than the system, games and extras were already bagged up) and walked right on out. In my rarely seen OCD, it was pretty awesome. There was just a line of bags to the back wall waiting to be taken home.
Considering I skipped the launches for next gen and manned the computer from home for the PS4, I don’t have much to compare this to. Yet I still think it was totally awesome checking out the KI tournament and just hanging out with gamers waiting to get the next big thing. I had a BLAST! Now we can all express our happiness that everything has launched with playing tons of video games. Yay!
To close up, a quick look at the event through some pictures.